April 2010

New Store Arrivals - Masumi Arabashiri'10, Ichishima Koshu, Jinyu, Yukikage

Posted by Beau Timken in 2010, April, New Store Arrivals, Newsletter
Masumi Arabashiri "First Run" 2010
From Nagano Prefecture.
Junmai Ginjo Nama Genshu.
SMV: -1.5 Acidity: 1.8
This undiluted and unpasteurized sake is raw and vivacious. The nose is filled with tangerine, pineapple, rose hips and mineral elements. The first sip tells one that this sake "talks the talk" as a lively citrus start meets a balanced and lemon-grass middle mouth for a clean and fresh pallet adventure. Look for hints of grapefruit amongst the clean and balanced layers of crisp flavors. The acidity play blends with the ripe fruit elements to produce a snap and a semi-sweet "lightness" not usually found in "Arabashiri" sake. This raw brew has an 18% alcohol personality with a finish that is brazenly fresh. More body and flavor than the 2009 version!
WORD: Grapefruit
WINE: Beaujolais
BEER: Octoberfest Brews
FOODS: Bold cuisine with strong character.

Ichishima "Koshu"
From Niigata Prefecture.
Ginjo Koshu (Aged for 5 years).
SMV: +4 Acidity: 1.3
The nose on this aged sake is a splendid collection of musky earthtones, damp wool, raisins, vanilla, pickeled veggies and baked potatoes. Some koshu sakes are too musky and heavy, and then there is this version of a sake aged for 5 years. A medium-bodied brew that has hints of ginjio qualities that ride on a foundation of deep and wide flavors such as vanilla and sweet raisins. Look for honey elements and a handful of nuts amongst the very well balanced acidity that leaves the palate with a flavorful tingle. Larger glasses relax the brew down even more and room temperature brings out more earthy and nutty flavors. Smaller glasses increase deeper and wider koshu impact.
WORD: Elegant
WINE: Bordeaux/Deep Whites
BEER: Belgian Ales
FOODS: Meats and game, cheese plates, Chinese fare, and cigars!
$72 (720ml)

Yukikage "Snow Shadow"
From Niigata Prefecture.
Tokubetsu Junmai.
SMV: +4 Acidity: +1.3
This "solid as your father" sake has a mild nose filled with green apple, bamboo, steamed rice, apricot and pudding elements. Talk about a "feeling" brew that is grounded and drinks very well balanced. It's a classic "non-impactful" sake that is a joy to drink because it is so solid and so sake! There is a smooth and subtle richness that hides within a tight and compact delivery that rounds out more in a larger vessel. Take the flavor elevator up for hints of rice crackers and steamed rice, and down for semi- sweet deep and earthy tones including maple syrup and caramel. A light and solid sake that has many masks, but one solid face.
WORD: Smooth
WINE: Merlot/Sauvingnon Blanc
BEER: Hefferweisen
FOODS: Sushi, sashimi, grilled oily fish, Asian fried fare.
$23 (720ml)

From Nada Prefecture.
Junmai Ginjo.
SMV: +3 Acidity: 1.3
Talk about a gentle and yet elegant sake that is incredibly drinkable. The nose on the brew is a whispered collection of cantaloupe, white grape, sweet rice, raisin, and spring water elements. Clean, smooth with a hint of fruit tones this brew drinks very even with a dry round finish. Look for layers of nuanced flavors such as melon and dried pear all on a gentle flow that feels good in the mouth. A larger glass makes this brew all the more smooth, and the lower alcohol content may appeal to those looking for a lighter sake experience.
WINE: Merlot/Pinot Griggio
BEER: Crisp Ales
FOODS: Sushi, sashimi, gentle flavors, shellfish, light summer dishes.
$15 (720ml)

Jinyu "Brave Warrior"
From Chiba Prefecture.
Junmai Ginjo.
SMV:+/-0 Acidity: 1.4
This Riddler of a sake is all things to all people. Riddle me this - is it tangy, astringent, sour or sweet? You can't tell because it is deep with layers of fruit tones including citrus here and plums there. Velvety, smooth and different this is a guessing man's brew that keeps you coming back to the question - why does it taste so good? If you question the universe then let the sake universe question you back with a brew that thinks as well as it drinks!
WORD: Complex
WINE: Expressive Reds/Deep Whites
BEER: Winter Belgians
FOODS: Character cuisine with lots of flavors working, smoked fish, shell fish, semi-spicy fare.
$30 (720ml)

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